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Dr. Rick
Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience:  Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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I realize what Im about to describe amounts to grossly irresponsible

Resolved Question:

I realize what I'm about to describe amounts to grossly irresponsible behavior and I should adjust future habits accordingly. That out of the way I'm hoping to get a straight answer w/o the added lecture that goes along with it. :)

First, I've had 20/20 vision my entire life and have never had an eye issue in my life. My friends are constantly amazed that I can read words on a billboard many seconds before they can make them out.

Now to the part that makes me an idiot: I'm constantly outdoors. If i'm not training for my next marathon or on my bike I'm probably on my boat on a sunny afternoon. I rarely if ever wear sunglasses :(. During activities such as running/biking they've always seemed to give me a bad head ache even a few miles into whatever activity I'm taking place in. Despite this I've still never had any noticeable issues with my eyes outside of them getting bloodshot if lots of drinking is involved with any of the above.

Every year for the past eight I've lead a team on a massive bike ride across the state of Iowa. 400 some miles in 7 days, but more than a bike ride this is almost like a party on wheels. We bike and drink all day for all seven. It's our once a year let loose vacation type of thing and when we get home recovery is to say the least rough. This years ride had heat well over 100 on many of the days and yes I was outside w/o sunglasses for all these days.

Now to the question: The Sunday of the return I most laid on the couch and watched TV so noticed nothing out of the ordinary except how horribly hung over and sore I was from the week of drinking and biking. However Monday I noticed that reading black text against a white backdrop was somewhat blurry - something i've never really noticed before. I did panic a bit and attributed it possibly to recovery from a hang over and a couple google searched confirmed that those exact symptoms are associated with hangovers/alcohol detox. Well the problem is these symptoms are still with me today (Friday). I have no other hangover related signs so would have to assume there's possibly something else wrong? As an extra note it's not blurry to the point of double vision or anything just have to stop and squint a bit from time to time to better read things and or highlight the text so the backdrop isn't white.

Is it possible that all day every day exposure to the sun (even more so than usual for me) could have caused some sort of burning that's causing this problem. If so is it usual for it to persist up to five days after the fact? If so how many days might I expect this to go on. I'm not anti-doctor and have no financial or insurance concerns with going just don't want to rush in if there might be a rational explanation based on everything I described above.

Thanks!
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Eye
Expert:  Dr. Rick replied 1 year ago.

Dr. Rick :

Hi. I'm online and happy to answer your question today.

Dr. Rick :

Ok. First of all, I promise to hold off on the lecture :)

Dr. Rick :

Let me go through your questions/issues one at a time:

Customer:

okay thanks

Dr. Rick :

1. No. Exposure all day every day to the sun did not cause some sort of burn to your eyes.

Dr. Rick :

2. Yes. It is not unusual for this issue to persist for this long....I will tell you the issue below....

Dr. Rick :

3. There is a rational explanation for your somewhat blurry vision and we can fix it with a simple home therapy without having to rush off to a doctor...that is, present company excluded.

Customer:

Glad to hear :)

Dr. Rick :

It sounds like you are suffering from an anterior segment/tear film issue. What can cause this? First of all drinking like a teenager during a 400 mile week long bicycle ride in 100+ temps can do it. And there are a number of conditions but the most common are dry eyes, allergies and blepharitis....many times all three conditions act together to make you miserable. In order to solve your problem you need to address all of these issues at the same time.


 


 

Dr. Rick :

You can fix this....and here is how to do it:

Dr. Rick :

When it comes to allergies it is almost impossible to pin down the offending agent(s) and, therefore, treatment needs to focus on controlling the symptoms. Dry eyes are very common and can be improved by a stepwise series of therapies. First, the use of natural tears 4-6+ times/day to augment your natural tear production, if this doesn’t work then you can try temporary punctal occlusion of the lower puncta, then, if needed, temporary occlusion of all 4 puncta then, if indicated, surgical ( non-reversible) closure of the puncta. The openings to your tear drainage system are called puncta and you have one opening on each lid, near your nose.


 


Blepharitis is a condition where glands in the eyelids are not functioning normally. They become plugged and instead of putting out their normal clear, oily secretions, they put out thick, toothpaste like gunk. You may not be able to see this “gunk” yourself, unless it is really bad, but it shows up clearly on slit lamp examination.


 


The best treatment for this condition daily lid scrubs combined with warm compresses. I like to use baby shampoo for lid scrubs. In the shower, place the shampoo on your index fingers, close your eyes, raise your eyebrows (to stretch the skin on your eyelids) and scrub back and forth along your eyelashes for 3 to 5 minutes. The hot water in the shower helps to soften the plugged oils in the glands while the mechanical scrubbing with your soapy fingers removes the oils.


 


Baby shampoo lid scrubs will also help to wash away allergens and stimulate tear production, thereby addressing all three of your issues. Remember, this is not an instant fix. While you are waiting for the lid scrubs to have affect you can use over the counter allergy pills such as Travist, dimetapp or Zyrtec.


 


Should your symptoms get worse, your vision become significantly affected or things just not get better in 3 weeks or so you should have a complete eye examination by your local ophthalmologist to look for other, less common, causes of your symptoms.


 

Dr. Rick :

The good news? You are going to be just fine.

Dr. Rick :

Does this make sense to you?

Dr. Rick :

I do not think that the part about punctal occlusion will be necessary in your case so you can just ignore that part.

Customer:

Yes everything above does make sense outside of the fact that to the best of my knowledge I'm not allergic to anything. That said those on the ride who do have allergies were somewhat miserable in some of our field camp sites so there was plenty in the air. The dry eye thing makes plenty of sense, my wife even pointed out how much more red they were all week than she'd ever seen them.

Customer:

But as to the steps to take I do understand those with one other question: Does visine count as that or is there a specific eye drop item I'm supposed to look for?

Dr. Rick :

Do not use visine or other drops that are "for getting red out" as these will just irritate your eyes more. Use artificial tears such as refresh, bion tears, natural tears......ask the pharmacisit. The cheapest ones are the best.

Customer:

Perfect, I'll try all of the above. I really appreciate your help.

Dr. Rick :

My pleasure.....and I managed to do that all without a lecture lol!

Dr. Rick :

Please remember the top 3 ratings are positives [Excellent service is my goal] and this is how we are compensated. Please don't click "bad" or "poor" service as this leaves me negative feedback. If you aren't 100% satisfied, just click "reply." I will be happy to discuss your issue in more depth and do everything I can to provide you with the information you require.


Otherwise, a high positive rating is very much appreciated, bonuses are great, and find me anytime for follow up.



Let me know if you have further questions.


 

Customer:

LOL, thanks. Again it's appreciated.

Dr. Rick, Board Certified MD
Category: Eye
Satisfied Customers: 7750
Experience: Ophthalmology since 1994 with Retina sub-specialty interest
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